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Family History Society

The SDFHS Blog

The 1642 Protestation Returns

One of the things I thought I could usefully do during lockdown was to transcribe some of the wills and other old documents that I’d collected over the past few years I’d never made much progress with this as I’d found most of them unreadable; partly because they were often in Latin but mainly because of the early English scripts in which they were written Despite having attended excellent workshops led by the SDFHS Secretary, Ted Udall, on ‘Reading Old Documents’, I hadn’t put...

The Greenwood Tree – September 2020

Members came up trumps once again with their tales of the Black Sheep of their respective families in what proved to be a popular theme for The Greenwood Tree’s September edition For the second successive issue (and for no extra charge) four more pages were added to provide a suitable platform for some intriguing stories Editor Paul Radford previews the edition which will be mailed to members at the end of August and which SDFHS members can already view or download from the Members Area of...

Lord Dorset’s Recompense

Serendipity (unexpected and fortunate discoveries) can be a marvelous feeling, not least in the course of family history research Some years ago at the British Library, I noticed, quite by chance, that it has an Index of Names associated with its Manuscripts Collection Such indices are invaluable to genealogists Nothing ventured, I inserted the name ‘PITFIELD’ and the search referred me to an amazing document This is a letter from Thomas SACKVILLE, first Earl of Dorset, who was the Lord...

The Joys of the Family Picnic

In a recent Sunday Telegraph there was an article headed 'Back on the menu: the great British motoring picnic' It was accompanied by a wonderfully evocative photo of a couple sitting inches from the roadway enjoying a cup of tea  This sent me scurrying through my old family photos, and I found one just like it probably taken in about 1955 You can see the thermos flask and there is also a blue picnic case that belonged to my grandparents The picnic case was made by Sirram which was...

Update to Secure the Shadow

Following publication in 2018 of the book Secure the shadow - Somerset photographers 1839 – 1939 (Buy now), the authors have continued their research on the photographers who were working in Somerset during this period Much of this has been based on recent releases of digitised newspapers, the most significant being the Central Somerset Gazette (1862-1981) and Somerset Standard (1886-1976) Postcard of Minehead, taken probably in 1935 Although we knew of both these photographers, Richard...